From late winter throughout spring, vibrant flower fields and enchanting orchards become the main attraction in California.
California is diverse, encompassing green rolling hills of the northern part and barren deserted landscapes of the south. Each section of the state adopts its distinctive colors in fall and summer, letting winter cover the northern and mountainous regions with white blankets. Yet, comes spring and entire California gives in to blooming flower fields and orchards and embraces vibrant orange, red, yellow, blue, and purple hues.
For miles on end, orange poppies shower the deserted lands of southern California, astounding visitors with their vibrancy and ever-changing floral “waves”. Yellow flower fields and white blooming orchards prevail in central and northern California. The state transforms, turning into a gigantic vivid “ocean” that spreads from San Diego all the way to Crescent City. And it’s just the beginning.
Apart from the colorful brilliance, the blooming flower fields and orchards infuse California with gentle aroma and oozing charm. The floral carpet that covers the expanded deserts and sweeping hills is a sight to behold. No wonder, these vistas inspire endless amounts of locals as well as thousands of visitors to wander out and explore the impeccable flower fields of California.
What Kinds of Flower Fields and Orchards Exist in California?
California boasts all sorts of flower fields and orchards. From commercial farms to short-lived desert wildflowers, the state treats each and every place as a colorful cotton candy, extending blooming periods during some years and shortening or avoiding them altogether during the following.
What Affects Flower Fields in California?
It’s hard to predict if the blooming flower fields festoon California during a specific year. Forces of nature are unforeseeable and so is the spring bloom. There is more predictability when it comes to the commercial flower fields in California, though. But even the latter can’t always withstand dry seasons the Golden State is notable for. Thus, winter precipitation as well as early spring temperatures have the most significant impact on the bloom.
Where to Find the Most Beautiful Flower Fields and Orchards in California
Uncertainty often accompany the visitors wishing to explore the vibrant flower fields and orchards in California. For those who despite a certain degree of unpredictability attached to these spring adventures decide to experience the bloom, here’s the list of the most beautiful flower fields and orchards in California.
HERE ARE THE MOST ENCHANTING FLOWER FIELDS AND ORCHARDS IN CALIFORNIA:
1. The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
Address: 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Once a year, rolling hills of North San Diego County turn into blooming orange, red, while, and yellow “seas”. Thousands of Giant Tecolote ranunculus flowers adorn a 50-acre farm, inevitably gathering locals and visitors from all over the country.
The owners of the ranch arrange the flowers by colors, creating several distinctive gardens. From the Artist Garden to a small patch of blooming orchids and the iconic “American Flag” made from the spring flowers, the place instills awe and admiration.
Apart from its famous colorful gardens, the Flower Fields in southern California allure with their Sweet Pea Maze and historic poinsettia display. The newest attraction of the ranch is Blueberry Patch. Spread over 2 acres, it adds deep blue colors to the overall vibrant brilliance of the farm.
Season: The Flower Fields in southern California are open from March 1 through Mother’s Day.
Open: You can enjoy a burst of color and meticulous displays daily from 9 am until 6 pm.
Cost: Adult ticket costs $20. Children (3-10) visit the Flower Fields in southern California for $10. Online reservation is required.
2. Clairmont Farm Lavender
Address: 2480 Roblar Ave, Los Olivos, CA 93441
Clairmont Farm Lavender, a family-owned lavender farm, adds purple hues to an array of blooming flower fields to visit in California in summer. The place nestles in the Santa Ynez Valley in Los Olivos. Sheltered by the Sant Ynez Mountains and guarded by three hundred-year-old oak trees, the lavender farm is popular with local photographers and painters.
Apart from the gorgeous colors, these hidden flower fields in California reward its visitors with organic lavender products made on the site. From essential oils, known for its healing qualities, to Grosso lavender creams and sprays, the lavender fields ensure far more than the mere aesthetic pleasure.
Season: The main flower fields of this small farm in southern California usually bloom from mid-June to mid- or late July. The peak bloom, however, varies from year to year depending on the weather.
Open: The lavender fields are open to the public Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, from 11 am to 5 pm.
Cost: There is no fee to enter the farm. Pets are welcome on leash.
3. Sunflower Fields in Yolo and Solano Counties
Location: Dixon, Woodland, Winters
Northern California inspires with its golden flower fields. Not entirely natural as these lands are used for agricultural purposes, the blooming sunflower fields entice more visitors than farm owners would probably wish. The golden sunflowers can be found in Yolo County, in or near Woodland and Winters, and Solano County, near Dixon. These flower fields spread for miles, allowing to see the colorful brilliance from many places.
The way you choose to experience the summer bloom also varies. Some people drive by while taking in the views of the flower fields before going to other destinations in northern California. Others (I surely belong to this category) dive in these yellow “waters”, touch, and smell the fresh sunflowers. The flower fields don’t last long in California, so be sure to take advantage of these short-lived phenomena.
The Best Places to Find Sunflower Fields in Yolo and Solano Counties, California
For the latter category of the visitors, here’s the list of places where you can enjoy the gorgeous yellow flower fields in northern California.
- Fields of sunflowers at 8747 Currey Road, Dixon, CA 95620
- Fields of sunflowers at the Kidwell Road exit from Interstate 80 between Davis and Dixon
- Sunflower fields at Intersection of Roads 89 and 26 in Winters
- Muller Ranch located at 15810 County Road 95, Woodland, CA
- Cloverleaf and Collins Farm at 9055 Olmo Lane, Davis, CA
Season: The best time to visit the golden flower fields in northern California are from mid-June through mid-July.
Open: You can see the blooming sunflower fields from sunrise to sunset while driving by. For a self-guided tour, contact the farms about their hours and entrance fees.
4. Sunflower Fields in Half Moon Bay
Location: Half Moon Bay, CA
Signature yellow flower fields in Haft Moon Bay in northern California can bloom well into the fall months. The tall plants reach their massive heads to the sky, simultaneously warming already cooler days with their bright colors.
Unlike the summer flowers adorning the fields of Yolo and Solano Counties, these California’s natives are large. They tower over their visitors, barely ensuring an undisturbed flowery “sea” to enjoy from the near distance. Walking into the sunflower fields reminds of wandering among young trees, which crowns barely rise above your head. Yet, these flowery patches serve as perfect substitutes for those who missed the earlier blooms.
The Best Places to Find Sunflower Fields in Half Moon Bay, California
- Andreotti Family Farms
- Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm
- Lemos Farm
Season: The Sunflowers bloom from mid-September though early October.
Open: Contact the farms for hours and entrance fees or drive around the area at your convenient time.
5. Wildflowers in Joshua Tree
Location: National Park in southern California
The flower fields in California never cease to amuse. Wildflowers take this excitement to the next level. One of the most unusual, yet oh, so welcoming places to find flower fields in southern California is Joshua Tree National Park. Barren, muted lands of the Mojave and the Colorado Deserts literally burst into colors at the end of winter – early spring. Nearly 750 documented plant species reside here, rewarding the spring visitors with blooming Mojave poppies, desert dandelions, and Canterbury bells.
The bloom season, however, varies depending on the earlier precipitation and temperatures. The wildflowers in lower elevations of the Pinto Basin and along the park’s south boundary can start blooming in February. The flower season at higher elevations happens in March and April. You get more chances to spot the wildflowers near Eagle Mountain, Lost Palms Oasis, the Cottonwood Visitor Center area, and in Wilson Canyon.
Season: The flower fields in Joshua Tree National Park, California, usually bloom from March though April.
Open: Sunrise to sunset
Cost: The wildflowers are free to enjoy. Entrance fee to Joshua Tree National Park, however, is $30 per vehicle.
6. Flower Fields in Lake Elsinore, California
Location: Western Riverside County, California
Southern California is often on fire in spring. Not a disturbing and demolishing disaster that can strikes the state at the end of summer, but a colorful fire, consisting of mostly orange, yellow, and purple hues. Hills near Lake Elsinore is the best and most anticipated example of these astounding bursts. For miles and miles, California poppies and lupins blanket the area, transforming it into a memorizing orange and purple “ocean” that encompasses the endless natural flower fields.
While you can drive by and admire the splendid floral “carpet”, the majority of the visitors hit the Walker Canyon Trail to see the flowers up-close and inhale their refreshing aroma.
The area, however, can get busy. On weekends, a line of cars waiting for their turn to enter a dirt parking lot blocks the road for miles. Significantly fewer crowds flock to the flower fields in southern California during the week. Early mornings can also guarantee easy access and fewer people to share the area with.
Tip: You can always stop by the side of the road (make sure parking it allowed there) and escape the maddening crowds along the Walker Canyon Trail altogether.
Season: The California poppies near Lake Elsinore start blooming as early as the end of February and last throughout April.
Open: Sunrise to sunset
7. Blooming Orchards: Fresno County Blossom Trail
Address: 2629 S Clovis Ave, Fresno, CA 93725
The area around Fresno burst into white, red, and pastel pink colors along the Fresno County Blossom Trail. Signifying the start of the bloom season in central California, the place comes back to life with its signature almond, nectarine, apple, and citrus orchards. Producing nuts and fruits for more than 30 years, the Fresno County Blossom Trail spices the end of winter and the beginning of spring with the gentle bloom.
This scenic drive is famous for its irresistible display of blossoming nut and fruit trees and wildflowers. While almond orchards adorn the area with white shades against dark branches and trunks, apricot gardens add pink hues to the colorful idyll. Citrus blossoms are the most recognizable here first of all due to their distinctive sweet aroma.
Season: The best time to enjoy the blossoming orchards in California is mid-February until mid-March.
Open: Farms within the Fresno County Blossom Trail are usually open for the public from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. For detailed information, however, contact the owners directly. You can drive near the blossoming orchards any time from sunrise to sunset, though.
Cost: Driving near the blooming orchards is free.
8. Flower Fields in Northern California: Calla Lily Valley in Carmel
Address: Garrapata Trail, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923
Northern California guarantees one of the most unexpected flower fields. Located at the southern edge of Garrapata State Park, the Calla Lily Valley shelters thousand blooming white calla lilies. Tiny creek, flowing into the ocean, completes the surreal surrounding.
The Calla Lily Valley sits near Highway 1, not far from mile marker 63 and gate 19. Park on the side of the road and hike down wooden stairs toward the creek until you stumble upon the astounding little valley. The hike is approximately 0.5 miles both ways. Poison ivy can spread its “webs” near the areas where the wildflowers grow. Thus, be sure to wear long pants when visiting these flower fields in northern California.
Season: The lilies bloom from late January until mid-April
Open: Sunrise to sunset
Cost: These flower fields in northern California are free to visit.
9. Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
Address: 15101 Lancaster Rd, Lancaster, CA 93536
The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve provides the most consistent wildflower fields in southern California. As the name suggests, California poppies, the official state flower, reign here every spring. The area transforms into a large orange “ocean” with gentle flower-waves that brisk winds are fond of.
The Reserve nestles in the rural west side of Antelope Valley, about 1 hour 20 minutes from Los Angeles. Each spring, the area comes alive with a new splash of bright colors. The duration and intensity of the bloom season vary from year to year.
Although Antelope Valley is the most reliable place to feast your eyes on the endless flower fields in California, some years it’s as barren as a desert. A few years ago, we visited the reserve several times to no avail. The iconic California poppies didn’t bother to appear neither in the valley nor in the majority of other places in the state that year.
Season: The wildflower season usually lasts from as early as mid-February through May.
Open: The Reserve is open daily from sunrise to sunset throughout the year.
Cost: Entrance fee is $10 per vehicle, $9 per vehicle with a senior on board (62 and over).
10. Flower Fields in Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
Address: 17495 Soda Lake Rd, Santa Margarita, CA 93453
Located in southeastern San Luis Obispo County, the Carrizo Plain National Monument is one of the best-kept secrets in the state. In spring, it enhances its reputation as one of the best places to find vibrant flower fields in California.
Overshadowing all other attractions in the Carrizo Plain, the wildflowers put on a dazzling show. Hillside daisies, goldfields, and blue valley phacelia revive the place, filling it with vivid orange, yellow, and blue shades. The most popular places to see the wildflowers blooming in the Carrizo Plain are Overlook Hills and the boardwalk along Soda Lake.
Keep in mind, though, that the area is remote. Restroom and other facilities are available only at the Goodwin Education Center, which is open Thursday through Sunday from 9 am to 4 pm. So, bring plenty of water and avoid other road trip mistakes that sadly are not so rare in this secluded area of California.
Season: The flower fields in the Carrizo Plain, California, can bloom from late February through the third week of April.
Open: Enjoy the colorful brilliance from sunrise to sunset.
Cost: You can visit the flower fields in this part of California free of charge. The Carrizo Plain takes a fee ($1) only for Saucito Ranch and Painted Rock tours. The latter can be self-guided.
11. Flower Fields in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California
Address: 652 Palm Canyon Dr, Borrego Springs, CA 92004
Desert comes to life in yet other part of the Golden State. The blooming flower fields, consisting of desert dandelion, white chicory, orange desert sunflower, and purple sand verbena adorn Anza Borrego Desert State Park in southern California.
Again, the bloom in the area depends of the earlier precipitation and spring temperatures. Hundreds of flower species can festoon the park when the conditions are right. The easiest places to enjoy the bright wildflowers are at the end of Di Giorgio Road and near Fish Creek Wash and Coyote Canyon. Desert lilies may rejoice the visitors at the Arroyo Salado Campground and along the route to Calcite Mine.
Season: The wildflowers in this part of California are likely to adorn the desert fields as early as February and last until April. The second week of March is often the peak of the bloom.
Open: Enjoy the blooming flower fields in southern California from sunrise to sunset.
Cost: You can enter the park and take in the views of the wildflowers free of charge. To park at some popular area, you must pay day-use fees of $10 per vehicle.
12. Flower Fields in Figueroa Mountain Recreation Area, California
Location: Santa Barbara County, California
Figueroa Mountain, a summit in Santa Barbara County, also puts on some vibrant shades. Known for its California poppy and lupine fields, it entices the locals and visitors alike with lush meadows brimmed with these dazzling wild flowers. A contrasting backdrop of wooded mountains further creates a dreamy landscape. Apart from California poppies and lupines, patches of chocolate lilies, goldfields, and padre’s shooting star contribute to the creation of the flowery blanket that enveloped the area’s hillsides in early spring.
Direction: The Figueroa Mountain Recreation Area nestles about 30 minutes north of Los Olivos. You can get to the place by following Figueroa Mountain Road (12.5 miles northeast) or Happy Canyon Road.
Season: The flower fields in Coastal California are at peak from mid-February until May. The bloom, however, may vary from year to year.
Open: Enjoy the stunning flower fields in Coastal California from sunrise to sunset.
Cost: Entry is free. Adventure Pass Fee ($5) is taken for parking.
13. Flower Fields at Point Buchon, California
Location: San Luis Obispo County, California
In early spring, lovely California poppies adorn Point Buchon, a cape in San Luis Obispo County. Millions of bright orange wildflowers cover a long stretch of the seaside plain, making it one of the best oceanside flower fields in California. Hike along the Point Buchon Trail and delight in the sight of the charming wildflowers. The seaside bloom, however, attracts many local photographers, zealously capturing the site at different perspectives. Therefore, solitude might be just wishful thinking here.
Interestingly, the bright flower fields in this region of California aren’t considered entirely natural. The rough coastal land was used for growing crops until the late 1940s. Later, herds grazed on the fields. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. bought the land in 1986 and has managed it as a grazing field ever since.
Season: The flower fields adorn Coastal California from late February until April.
Open: You can feast your eyes on the wildflowers from sunrise to sunset.
Cost: The Point Buchon Trail is free. Access, however, is limited.
14. Yellow Coreopsis Flower Fields in Malibu, California
Location: Malibu, California
Golden flower fields blanket the California South Coast area in early spring. Numerous patches of yellow coreopsis spread across the entire region from Zuma Beach to Point Dume Nature Preserve in Malibu. The golden flowers festoon massive bluffs just above the beaches, creating a stunning contrast to blue ocean water. Wildflowers and beaches… Southern California certainly knows how to entice its visitors. One of the best places to see the yellow coreopsis is along the Point Dume Trail.
Season: The flower fields in southern California are short-lived. Usually they last from early March until April.
Open: Sunset to sunrise
Cost: The area is free to visit. Parking fees, however, may apply.
15. Flower Fields in Lompoc, California
Address: 3314-3568 W Central Ave, Lompoc, CA 93436
Santa Barbara County in southern California once again amuses with its flower fields. This time, the main focus is on commercial fields. Farms in the Lompoc Valley grow stock, larkspur, delphinium, sweet pea, Queen Anne’s lace, and bells of Ireland along with other varieties of flowers. You can find a myriad of commercial flower fields in and around Lompoc, California. The favorite places to gaze at the spring abundance are west of Old Town Lompoc and along Central Avenue.
Lompoc’s Mediterranean climate has paired with refreshing ocean breeze to provide an ideal environment for growing the flowers. While the majority of other places in California enjoy the bloom once a year, the fields in Lompoc produce the flowers three to four times throughout the year.
Wildflowers also thrive in this area. The most popular varieties here are California poppy, lupine, filigree, morning glory, and hummingbird sage.
Season: The wildflowers bloom from mid-April until June. The commercial flower fields are normally in bloom from April though September.
Open: You can enjoy the blooming wildflowers from sunrise to sunset.
Visitor Guideline: The commercial flower fields are private properties. Walking into the fields is not allowed. You can park on the side of the road and take pictures from here.
Read More About Flower Fields in California
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